How Long Does Virtual Reality Sickness Last?

Hey there! Have you ever tried virtual reality and felt like you were going to hurl? Trust me, I’ve been there too. It’s not the most pleasant feeling, is it? So, I did some digging and found out a thing or two about VR sickness, including how long it usually lasts. And I figured I’d share what I learned with you, so you can have a more enjoyable VR experience.

In this article, we’re going to answer the question: “How long does virtual reality sickness last?” We’ll talk about what causes VR sickness, how long it usually sticks around, and some tips to avoid it altogether. Whether you’re a VR veteran or a newcomer, I hope this info will be helpful to you. So, let’s get to it, shall we?

What causes VR sickness?

Virtual reality sickness, also known as cybersickness or simulator sickness, is a type of motion sickness that occurs when the brain receives conflicting signals from the eyes and the inner ear. When the eyes see movement but the body isn’t physically moving, it can cause a disconnect in the brain and lead to symptoms like nausea, dizziness, and headaches.

Here are some of the factors that can contribute to VR sickness:

  1. Latency: If there’s a delay between the movement of your head and the corresponding change in the VR display, it can cause motion sickness.
  2. Field of view: A narrow field of view can make it harder for your brain to reconcile what you’re seeing with your body’s sense of movement.
  3. Frame rate: A low frame rate can cause visual stuttering and judder, which can be disorienting and induce nausea.
  4. Brightness and contrast: High levels of brightness and contrast can overstimulate the eyes and exacerbate motion sickness.
  5. VR content: Certain types of VR content, like rollercoaster simulations or first-person shooters, can be more likely to induce VR sickness than others.

It’s worth noting that some people are more prone to VR sickness than others, and certain individual factors like age, gender, and medical conditions can also play a role. However, by understanding the common causes of VR sickness, you can take steps to minimize your risk and enjoy your VR experience to the fullest.

How Long Does VR Sickness Usually Last?

The duration of VR sickness can vary from person to person and depends on several factors, such as the severity of the symptoms and the length of the VR session. Some people may feel better within a few minutes, while others may experience symptoms for several hours or even days.

In general, the most common symptoms of VR sickness, like nausea and dizziness, tend to dissipate once the VR experience has ended. However, some people may experience lingering symptoms or a feeling of disorientation for a short period afterward.

It’s worth noting that repeated exposure to VR can help reduce the severity and duration of VR sickness over time. This is because your brain can learn to adapt to conflicting signals and become more acclimated to the VR experience.

If you’re experiencing VR sickness, it’s essential to take a break and give your body time to recover. You can try lying down in a quiet, dark room or focusing on a stationary object to help reorient yourself. Additionally, drinking water and avoiding heavy meals before a VR session can also help prevent or reduce symptoms.

If you find that VR sickness is a recurring problem for you, you may want to consider shorter VR sessions or taking breaks more frequently. You can also try adjusting the VR settings to minimize factors like latency, frame rate, and field of view that can contribute to motion sickness. By taking these steps, you can enjoy all the exciting possibilities of VR without the discomfort of VR sickness.

Tips to Avoid VR Sickness Altogether

Now that we’ve covered the causes and duration of VR sickness, let’s talk about some tips to avoid it altogether. Here are some practical strategies that you can use to have a more comfortable and enjoyable VR experience:

  1. Start Slowly: If you’re new to VR, start with short sessions and gradually build up your exposure over time. This will give your brain time to adjust to the new sensory input and reduce the risk of motion sickness. Check my article on Getting Started in VR.
  2. Choose Your Content Carefully: Some VR experiences are more likely to induce motion sickness than others. For example, games with a lot of fast movement or intense visuals can be particularly challenging. Consider opting for less intense experiences like puzzle games or virtual tours.
  3. Adjust VR Settings: Make sure that the VR settings are optimized for your comfort. This includes factors like field of view, frame rate, and latency. You can also adjust the brightness and contrast to reduce eye strain.
  4. Take Breaks: Even if you’re not experiencing symptoms of VR sickness, it’s important to take frequent breaks to rest your eyes and give your brain a chance to adjust. A good rule of thumb is to take a break every 20-30 minutes.
  5. Move Slowly: When moving around in VR, try to move slowly and deliberately. Avoid sudden movements or rapid head turns, as these can exacerbate symptoms.
  6. Hydrate: Drinking plenty of water before and during your VR session can help prevent dehydration, which can contribute to motion sickness.
  7. Stay Cool: If you’re prone to motion sickness, try to keep cool during your VR session. High temperatures can exacerbate symptoms, so make sure the room is well-ventilated and not too warm.


In conclusion, if you’re wondering how long does virtual reality sickness last, the answer is that it can vary from person to person and depends on several factors. However, by understanding the causes and duration of VR sickness, as well as following the tips to prevent it, you can minimize your risk and have a more comfortable and enjoyable VR experience.

So, the next time you don a VR headset, keep in mind the potential for motion sickness and take the necessary precautions. By doing so, you can fully immerse yourself in the world of virtual reality without worrying about the unwanted side effects.

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